Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Day 1 in London (28 March, 2010)

Sorry this has taken so long to post...I would've written it on the train had they provided outlets (I wrote part of this on one train that did), and I had an awfully long essay due last week when I got back. This week, I have a shorter one so hopefully I'll post day 2 either before or after it...

The day had finally come. After much planning for my trip around the UK, I was finally leaving…not by myself either. My wonderful boyfriend, Stuart had decided to come with me to London.
We spent the day packing, printing and eating as we were not leaving until the night. We were taking a night bus from Dundee to London via Megabus (a cheap bus service). Unfortunately (and ironically), my camera decided to die with the shutter open and somehow got jammed in this position so it would not work. Ice cream and Stuart holding me and letting me borrow his camera helped. Finding out that I was not getting into Wales in the morning (as I had thought) but instead at 1am did not, but I got that worked out as well and we were on our merry way.
The bus seemed pretty luxurious…like an airplane or something. However, I soon found out that toilets on buses in the UK are worse than porter potties! They are basically a hole for everyone to use that doesn't get flushed….. Needless to say, despite the fact that there was limited air and my bladder was full the whole time, it was a nice journey. I had Stuart to lean on at least. :)
We stopped several places along the way…Glasgow, Birmingham… Just outside of London was a lovely English countryside we rode through, during which I annoyed Stuart with all my songs about London.
We arrived probably around 8 in the morning on Sunday, March 28th. We were tired and hungry but couldn't check into the hotel quite yet. Despite this, we dropped off our bags and set off, excited. Poor Stuart only had one wheel on his bag and was halfway dragging it. :/ He ran ahead at one point to find our hotel. Since it was a Sunday, there were not many places open yet. We walked around…very far just to find somewhere to eat. During that time, we saw some interesting things… Walked to Hyde park. On the way to Hyde park, I saw the National Bank which is obviously what the one in Harry Potter is modeled after. I took a picture for Wendy. :)
There was a race going on in Hyde park. Stuart had said he wouldn't do it because he didn't want to walk around sweaty for most of the rest of the day, etc. but when he saw it going on he got really upset that he hadn't signed up to do it. (The next day he brought his running shoes with him…lol.) Also on the way, we saw a few shops that were open and browsed a bit. Finally, we settled on a Garfunkles, where we sat down and filled ourselves to the brim, as well as drinking 2 mochas each! After feeling wonderfully full again, we walked around some more, browsed some more, I saw Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square (which Stuart had me close my eyes for…hehe…he's so romantic… :D) and then we walked some more to where we saw a beautiful park and Buckingham Palace.
After this, we were very tired and it was about 1:30 so we figured they might let us check in a bit early and we were right. The hotel was lovely! It had a bath and a bode (sp?) I took a nice long bath. We rested until our Jack the Ripper tour that evening.
The tour started near Trafalgar Square and we walked there just in time. It was a nice tour as we got to get on a coach for half of it and learned more than I thought we would! It was also a nice dark, partially rainy night, which I thought was perfect for the tour. I saw some really cool things too such as creepy dark alleys, a market place that looked very modern on one side and almost original on the other. I also learned that one of the London School of Economics (Zareen's dream school) dormitories had once been a nunnery and was the place where Jack the Ripper had murdered his last victim. The car park near it also had once been part of the tour until someone was thrown!
After the tour, we were driven to a really nice English pub (called Sherlock Holmes) where I finally decided to go ahead and try fish and chips because you only live once. I was very glad I did because they were really good!!
Stuart was in a really good mood at that point and decided that we should go ahead and take the tube because we were both really tired. As we were walking down the partially-flooded sidewalk, Stuart asked me to close my eyes again, or at least to look down at the ground. When I opened them, there was Big Ben, all lit up (as well as the London eye). It was a really beautiful sight! :) Right then, I just wanted to tell Stuart….well that I love him (because we hadn't told each other yet and I felt it) but I think it was nerves that stopped me, mainly and a partial rush to the tube. That moment was really romantic though and I will never forget it. I remember we couldn't stop giggling when we ran into the tube station.
On our walk back from the Victoria station to the hotel, I got this urge to tell Stuart how I felt. I think I giggled or something and he said, "What?" and I said something like, "Nothing… I'll tell you later." But then proceeded to tell him the whole story of what led me to study abroad and to him after a short pause. Then, he stopped walking and stopped me and he was like, "Come on, tell me." or something like that. And I was like, "NO!" And he was all like, "It's three words…isn't it?" and I was all like, "…yeah…." and he was all like, "I promise I'll say it back." and I hesitated but ended up saying it there.
"I love you."
"I love you too." <3

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